|email - September 2018|
John wants us to publish more hate mail.
Hello. Thanks for your work. Could you please publish more of the angry hate email from atheists? I used to love reading your responses shutting them down. You only seem to respond to nice email now.
John’s complaint is the closest we’ve gotten to any hate mail in a long time. That’s why we haven’t published any angry letters from evolutionists lately.
One might think we aren’t getting angry letters from evolutionists because fewer people are visiting our website—but the data doesn’t bear that out. Our home page hit counter tells us that about 100 people per day visit our site these days, which is the highest it has ever been. Of course, we don’t know how many of those visits are made by evolutionists.
We also have a Facebook page which has been gathering more “likes” than ever; but it is reasonable to assume those visitors who like us are not evolutionists.
We don’t do a lot of posting on Facebook, because we don’t trust them. They could decide we are a “hate group” at any moment and shut us down. So, we just use Facebook to direct people to our website, over which we have total control.
Since we now get about four times as many visits to our website as we did at the turn of the century, the lack of hate mail isn’t because nobody is visiting the website any more.
Could it be that fewer people believe in evolution now than they did in previous years? Perhaps so, but we don’t have any data to support what may just be our wishful thinking.
We hope it has been clear from our previous columns that we love to make fun of stupid ideas, but we try not to make fun of the people who have those stupid ideas. To protect their privacy, and shield them from bullying, we just use the first names of people who send us email, and sometimes change their first name if someone else with the same first name has recently written to us. When we edit an evolutionist’s email, we do it to make his point clearer by removing boring, irrelevant digressions, or curse words and personal attacks. We want to discuss the idea—not the person.
It is of no value to take someone’s position and twist it into something foolish, and then refute the twisted foolish position (like MSNBC does ). We aren’t afraid to deal with issues fairly and honestly.
We don’t encourage people to post comments on our Facebook page because Facebook doesn’t protect the identity of the poster like we do. Anybody can click on the name of the person who posted the comment, and make some hateful responses directly to the poster. We haven’t had to delete anything anyone posts on our site—but we will delete offensive posts, if necessary.
The only (mildly) angry Facebook comment we have gotten came from Michael. He posted:
If it DENIES evolution, it ain't science. And if it's AGAINST evolution, it damned sure ain't science. But, hey! Nobody really has to believe OR disbelieve anything! Whatever floats your boat. Evolution doesn't care.
The natural human response to a snarky comment like that is to dismiss it by thinking, “Why would anyone say something like that?” A better response is to wonder genuinely, “Why would anyone say something like that?” and seek to find out the answer. So, we replied,
What is your definition of science?
Michael’s long response began,
Science is any discipline that uses the scientific method to study given subject areas of interest. …
This was followed by a link to a website that gives an excellent description of the scientific method. It really surprised me because I was expecting Michael to say that the scientific method was passé and had been replaced by consensus.
From Michael’s original comment, I had wrongly assumed he was a young skull full of mush. His respect for the scientific method took me by surprise.
In his reply Michael said, “I used to teach this stuff in my Research methods class.” Facebook told me he was a retired teacher, and provided photographic proof that he certainly is not young. So, with this newly found respect for Michael’s opinion, I replied,
Yes, we agree that science uses the scientific method to discover the truth. What experiments have verified the theory of evolution? Perhaps a better way to ask the question is, "Why do you think the theory of evolution is 'science' and not 'philosophy'?"
First, the reason that evolution / Natural Selection theories are science is generally because it follows the scientific method. More specifically, evolution studies follow the scientific model of developing an hypothesis, observation and measurements of relevant events (data), analysis and interpretation of the results. The conclusions are then organized into a theory.
To make things clear, Scientific theories must be constructed based on the empirical observation and interpretation of events. The purpose of that theory is to explain the phenomena being studied If it doesn't follow the steps listed above, it's not a proper scientific theory. Since theories of evolution are made in that fashion, the study of Evolution is properly considered a science.
Philosophy, on the other hand, is NOT empirical - it is logical. That is, propositions about some subject are formed, analyzed using logic, and the conclusions of that analysis are the basis of philosophical ideas.
Later - hopefully tomorrow or the next day - I'll describe some of the studies that illustrate the scientific nature of evolution and natural selection theories.
Except for his claim that evolution follows the scientific method, we are in complete agreement. Michael seems to respect the scientific method as much as we do. Our position is that the theory of evolution isn’t scientific because it doesn’t follow the scientific method. We were really looking forward to the descriptions “of the studies that illustrate the scientific nature of evolution” tomorrow or the next day. I replied,
We will look forward to specific examples of how you think the scientific method validates the theory of evolution.
As usual, that’s where the conversation ended, because there are no specific examples of studies that illustrate the scientific nature of evolution. Nine weeks of tomorrows have gone by, and we haven’t heard from Michael again. It is true, “Tomorrow never comes.”
Michael’s original comment was in response to our article on ghost apes. Let’s imagine what Michael could have said about that article.
Step 1 of the scientific method begins with an observation. The DNA of some species of apes was seen to differ from what an evolutionist would expect. Step 1—check!
Step 2 is to develop a hypothesis that explains the observation. The hypothesis in this case is that there is a “ghost lineage of apes” which must have been the unknown common ancestor of these diverse species of apes. Computer programs were used to determine what the DNA of this ghostly, elusive common ape ancestor must have been like. Step 2—check!
Step 3 is to perform some experiments to compare the DNA of the ghost apes to the hypothetical DNA predicted by the computer analysis. But, since there is no ghost ape DNA, this step could not be done. Step 3 was skipped.
Step 4 is to announce that experiments have shown the hypothesis must be correct. But, the experiments were never done. However, they “know” the experiments would have confirmed the hypothesis if the experiments had actually been done, so the existence of ghost apes was confirmed—but only in their minds.
The conclusion was deemed to be logical, which makes it philosophical. The conclusion was not confirmed with empirical observations, so it isn’t scientific.
Granted, this is our imaginary response that Michael might have considered making before he realized that the evolutionists’ belief in ghost apes is philosophical, not scientific, and wisely didn’t make that response. The point is, we have to imagine Michael’s response because he did not fulfill his promise to make one.
Nobody has ever given us an example of how the scientific method validates the theory of evolution because there isn’t one.
We are still looking forward to Michael giving us specific examples of how he thinks the scientific method validates the theory of evolution. Hope springs eternal—but we aren’t holding our breath.
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